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  • Writer's pictureDon Yurewicz

Aquatic Moss (Fontinalis spp.)

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Aquatic moss (aka water moss) is a dark green plant that attaches to submerged rocks or logs. The stems branch and are entirely covered by tiny, sharply pointed, ridged leaves (see Maria's photos below).

These are not true vascular plants and they reproduce by stolons, plant fragments, or spores rather than by flowers and seeds. Aquatic moss is a perennial, grows slowly, and provides habitat for aquatic insects, larvae, and other microorganisms. Small fish species will nest in it.

Aquatic moss has been identified in Zone 7, grid 1834 on the east side of the lake by Maria Gross, and a massive carpet was found by Maria Gross and Steve Kafka along the west shoreline of zone 15, grids 1975 and 1976. In both cases they were found along the shoreline in very shallow water. The aquatic moss in Zone 15 is a really thick carpet of growth with a dark musky color.

Aquatic moss photographed by Maria Gross in Zone 7, Grid 1834. The light green encrustation on the rock near the center top is a fresh water sponge.

Aquatic moss photographed in Zone 15. Photo by Maria Gross.

Aquatic moss photographed in Zone 15. Photo by Maria Gross.

Aquatic moss from Conway Lake, Zone 7, Grid 1834. This photo by Maria illustrates the fine leaves along the stems of an aquatic moss.

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